Thursday, September 22, 2011

September 19, 2011 E-Mail

It has been another one of those crazy weeks that has just flown by. Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes and the testimonies you sent me. I had a great birthday last week thanks to you all. It's pretty weird turning 21. Especially as a mormon. Because nothing changes! I guess that's a good thing! It sounds like you all had a great time at the family reunion too.
On Friday we had something pretty cool happen. We had been at the church pretty much all day between our meetings we had and planning and things. So it was driving us nuts just being there so we took off to do some work. Well we went to the trailer park where we had planned to tract and neither of us really felt like that was the place to be. So we talked about it for a minute and we decided that we would go to a different place where we had been tracting the day before. We went there and the first door we knocked on a lady answered and was really nice. Her name is Maribel. She told us how her husband had talked to missionaries in the past but that he was busy at the moment. We asked if we could come back in 15 minutes and she said sure. So we went back and he invited us right in. It was another one of those situations where I thought it was going to be a bash but he was the nicest most sincere guy. His name is Selvin. We talked for a while and it turns out he even went to church once but because of his work schedule he couldn't keep attending. Since then his schedule has changed. On Saturday they came to the church and did a church tour then they stayed for an activity that took place. It was awesome. They were trying to make it to church yesterday but couldn't make it. I'm pretty excited to see what comes of it.
The spanish branch is the one who put on the activity but they invited the whole stake. I think they said like 300 people came. It was basically a multicultural celebration thing. So there was a lot of food and some talents. Right when it started we were told that all of the missionaries would be singing called to serve in spanish. It went well. And the food was awesome! The day before they had gone and killed a couple of pigs. One of them they cooked in a hole in the ground however they do that. They other I'm not sure how they cooked it. Spanish branch activities are always the best.
Jesus and Desiree are still doing well. They are going to get there marriage license today and will be having a baptismal interview tonight also. Satan is really trying to make things hard on them. He will do anything he can to destroy a family. Yesterday they got in a really big fight. We showed up at just the right time and had the perfect team teacher with us to help the situation. It's funny how the Lord works like that. Then while my companion was teaching Jesus in Spanish I was able to just talk to Desiree in english and really help her out. She was telling me how her mind was telling her not to go through with it, but her heart was. So I was able to teach her about the spirit and how it communicates with us. Both of them have changed so much and just want to come closer to God and do what God wants them to do. My companion and I have been doing a lot of praying for them.
I know that God is our Heavenly Father and that He is well aware of everything that is going on in our lives. Through prayer we can communicate with Him and He can help us. He listens and He answers. I know this gospel is true. Thank you so much for all you do!!!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

September 12, 2011 E-Mail

Yesterday was pretty much the most exciting day of the week. It was stake conference. Well we were waiting outside for our investigators to show up(Jesus and Desiree). Well they weren't coming so we were getting a little sad and then went in to listen to the meeting because it was being broadcast from Salt Lake. So we went in and about a half hour later a spanish investigator came in from the Sisters area. So we took her and showed her where the room was where it was all translated into spanish. Then we were walking back to the english room and saw another spanish lady coming in so we decided to wait for her to show her where to go. And in the mean time, Jesus and Desiree came walking in. And it was at the perfect timing because a lady was walking out of the bathroom and it turns out that she used to teach Desiree in like kindergarten. Well Jesus and Desiree are planning on getting married on the 23rd and Desiree was worrying a little bit about it because they don't have any money or any plans or anything at all. But she mentioned to Sister Lacy that they were going to get married. Sister Lacy was so excited and told her that she would take care of a lot of it and she has a lot of the stuff to decorate for weddings. It was awesome! So Jesus and Desiree are still doing awesome and progressing so well. They fed us dinner a couple of times this past week and it was great. I'm really excited for them and the changings that they are making in there lives and the blessings that they are receiving.

The other night we were with a team teacher and he was taking us back to the church to get our car. It was pretty late and completely dark. Well we saw a duplex that was completely engulfed in flames. And the fire department wasn't even there. So my companion called 911. It was crazy. While he was on the phone with 911 something in the house blew up and flames went everywhere. It was pretty cool looking. Luckily no one was hurt other than a pet bird.
Last Tuesday we had a training. It was really cool. I think I mentioned it last week, but the ad campaign they are doing is going to be sweet. There are going to be tons of commercials on tv and also the internet and some billboards. I know they are doing it where Sis and Justin live too. I know she was trained on it. They told us to make some profiles so I should be making mine this upcoming week. I think the campaign is going to work miracles. They said last time they did it in different missions that the members and missionaries just weren't prepared and it wasn't very effective. That's why they are training all of us and the members so it becomes a great experience.
That's really about it for the week. Sounds like the family reunion will be fun. Thank you so much for all of the birthday wishes and the love and support. I know this church is true. I know it was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. And I also know that when we are obedient we are blessed. I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 6, 2011 E-Mail

It was a great week. But once again I can't really remember much that happened. I'm sure you are sic of me saying that to you guys. I've been sick this past week and I'm just getting over it. Just a really bad cold. But we still got out everyday and worked. Jesus and Desiree are doing so great. They came to church again on Sunday for all three hours and they loved it. They told us that they feel so much better after they go to church. They invited us over last night for dinner and it was great. We taught them the law of chastity. I taught him in spanish while my companion taught her in english. They really seem like they want to get married and change there lives around. They know that through God it is possible but there is no other way. And they are already seeing some of the blessings and happiness from keeping the commandments and living the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are such a great couple and family.
That other guy I talked about, Chris, is doing awesome too. He is the one who's girlfriend is a member. Well him and the girlfriend sort of broke up and he's still investigating. So we know that he is doing it all for himself and not for her. We have had some great lessons with him and he's even reading in the Book of Mormon. He told us that this is something he has been seeking for, he just didn't know it until it came to him. Preach my gospel mentions how there are many people who are seeking for the gospel, they just don't know where to find it. He says he wants to be baptized he's just not quite sure on a date yet. He was going to come to church on Sunday but had to go to the doctor. He was refilling a lighter and got lighter fluid on his hand then lit the lighter and burned himself.
I think I also mentioned teaching Corina. She is a great lady who we met tracting and she just opened up about her whole life story with us. Well we have taught her a couple of times and she is came on a church tour and really enjoyed it. They church tours are awesome because everyone that come's on a church tour then feels comfortable to come to church.
It's going to be another busy week. Within our mission they are doing a ad campaign. So throughout the mission there will be billboards and stuff advertising I think they said only 9 missions in the United States get this opportunity right now. Tomorrow someone from Salt Lake is coming to train us on how to effectively us the ad campaign. It should be a great training and we should see great things come from this.
Well I know that this church is true and I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. We met a guy yesterday who was sort of arguing about being saved by grace and not works, well anyways it just really made me think of our Savior. I know that He died for us. And I know that he will make up for our short comes. I'm so grateful to be a missionary. It's been a great experience. I love you all!! Thanks for all of your prayers, love, and support. Have a great week!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

Sunday, September 4, 2011

August 29, 2011 E-Mail

It was a good week but not to much happened. It can't compare to the week before. This whole week we had our mini missionary. His name was Jared and he was from Spokane. He was a really cool kid and had a hard time leaving he loved it so much. He was 17 so still has a couple of years before he goes. You might remind me talking about Jesus and Desiree when I first got here to this area. Well they sort of fell off the charts for awhile because he was working so much. We made contact with them the other day and he isn't as busy. They came to a church tour the other day. They loved it. After they stayed to watch a baptism. Then the next day they were at church for all 3 hours and loved that too. They are doing really well. I lost hope and faith in them before because they never did anything. But now my hopes are high again!

Yesterday we did get some upsetting news. It was pretty hard on us. Our investigator that was supposed to get baptized next Saturday decided she didn't want to. She sent us a big huge text message basically dropping us. It's tough because if anyone knows that the Book of Mormon is true it's her. I believe she will come around and be baptized. But it's not going to be this next Saturday.
With that, we did a lot of finding this past week. And on Saturday we had a great day. We decided to go and try to see a potential investigator who is really awesome. She really wants to find out if these things are true, but her husband feels comfortable where they are. But we taught about the Book of Mormon and committed her to read it and she agreed. Her 9 year old daughter was also very excited to read it. Then we decided to go and knock some doors. We tracted into this guy who said his girlfriend was a member and that she would be at his house in about an hour. He invited us back. I sort of just thought it was a brush off. So we went back and he was there. Him and his girlfriend are supposed to come on a church tour tonight. I'm looking forward to that one.
We have started a little group here of recent converts. Every Monday night we meet at one of there houses and watch a little church video and then eat ice cream. It's really cool to be around them all and feel of there fire and strong testimonies. There are a lot of great recent converts here who have stayed active and will be going to the temple within the year.
That is honestly about all that happened this week. At least as far as I can remember. I've really enjoyed reading in the ensigns lately. I'm so grateful that we have a living Prophet who talks to God and tells us what God wants us to know. I'm also very grateful for the opportunity that we have to listen to the Prophet and apostles in general conference coming up. I know this church is true without a doubt. I also know that the Book of Mormon is true without a doubt. I love you all so much. Thanks for your support and prayers! Have a great week!!